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Can Direct and Indirect Taxes Be Added for International Comparisons of Competitiveness?

Listed author(s):
  • Hans-Werner Sinn

While it is usually argued that direct and indirect taxes should be added for meaningful international comparisons of country competitiveness, this paper argues that the opposite may be true. It is possible that a country with a high value-added tax needs a high capital income tax to maintain its international competitiveness and vice verca. Which view is correct depends on which combination of the origin, destination, source and residence principles' prevail and whether or not accelerated depreciation is allowed. Using a Heckscher-Ohlin model with international capital movements the paper studies the relevant alternatives in detail.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3263.

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Date of creation: Feb 1990
Publication status: published as Reforming Capital Income Taxation, edited by Horst Siebert, Tubingen, Germany: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1990, pp. 47-65.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3263
Note: PE
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  1. Sutton, John, 1976. "The Relative Factor Intensities of Investment-and Consumer-Goods Industries: A Note," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 819-821, July.
  2. Whalley, John, 1979. "Uniform domestic tax rates, trade distortions and economic integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 213-221, March.
  3. Mutti, John & Grubert, Harry, 1985. "The taxation of capital income in an open economy: the importance of resident-nonresident tax treatment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 291-309, August.
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